In my search for a decent bike for Tomas, I visited Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op today. It was not easy to get there. The Google Map app in my iPhone came in handy, as the bridge on Columbus Road to get around Cleveland’s Flats, is no more.
The co-op is a volunteer-driven, non-profit education center. When I came in, it looked like a youth hangout, a place for young people to gather and do something together, fix their bikes or help out salvaging old bikes and get them back to the streets. The aim is not business driven but people focused.
There was a bike at the co-op exactly as the bike I had in mind for Tomas, apart from the color. I could even get it for approx 15% of the price of a similar new bike. The problem was that the bike was purple, and I doubted Tomas would like the color. When I explained the color issue to the man at the co-op, I felt bad about my sexist attitude and my failure in parenting. He at first didn’t seemed to understand why the color was an issue, but confessed later that when he was a kid, he got his sister bike when she outgrow it and sprayed it black.
I am probably easily impressed, but when I left without a bike for Tomas, making the complicated trip to Cleveland’s Flats unsuccessful. I still felt I had accomplished something, learned something new and good, having seen an interesting place of growth and learning. A gathering of young people (and some older) making the world a slightly better place.